Monthly Archives: April 2016

Emperor Jinmu’s Eastward Conquest and I

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This week, my colleagues and I successfully launched our institute’s new project to revitalize Japan’s local economy in Sendai/Miyagi, after having paid a three days visit to Natsui coast in Shibushi/Kagoshima. In my thought, there are closely combined with each other, even though you might wonder why I took this route.

It’s not economy but the Japanese ancient history that matters: At the very beginning of the Japanese imperial house’s history, Emperor Jinmu, the first legendary emperor of Japan, tried to conquer eastward from Shibushi to reach where his empire’s capital had to be settled down. To totally change the social and political order at that time in Japan, Emperor Jinmu made up his mind to expand his political influence all over Japan. The point was where he started this project and to which direction he stepped forward.

Historians after the WWII have been denying what was written in the ancient time in terms of Emperor Jinmu’s eastward conquest. There might have some specific reasons why they have been doing so, but teachers in Japanese schools just tell their boys and girls that this legend is a fake story and they shouldn’t believe in such a historical fabrication for the Japanese type of “imperial fascism”.

BUT, as you know, “Seeing is believing”. In spite of tight schedule in my office, I managed to visit where Emperor Jinmu’s legend was and is still told publicly. That’s the City of SHIBUSHI, the eastern coastal part of Kagoshima prefecture. My elder friend, who’s working on US-Japan alliance in terms of intelligence and financial transfer behind the door, advised me to be there, while he supported the current mayor of SHIBUSHI during his first election. “If you really want to know what Emperor Jinmu has done for his imperial successors, you may not miss visiting SHIBUSHI”, he said.

Staying there, I spontaneously understood what he meant by saying that. Not political ambition but climate change that could have motivated the first Japanese emperor to move eastwards. Of course, I don’t have any “objective” and “scientific” proofs for such a theory, nevertheless, the significant difference between SHIBUSHI and TOKYO (or East Japan) on climate automatically leads you to understand what causes persuaded Emperor Jinmu to launch his audacious project to the east.

Having said that, I now see you finally understand why our institute just launched its own project to renew Japan’s local economy right now. Obviously, climate is beginning to change itself dramatically again in the northern hemisphere, and that is forcing us all to change the world order. If you want to make something new and innovative happen, you mustn’t take advantage of this periodical event. On-going dramatic climate change is making us be aware of the necessity to think outside the box for survival. If we’ll fail to do so, the western civilizations including the Japanese one won’t have any more opportunities to further exist.

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Thanks to enthusiastic supports of some innovative local business leaders in SENDAI, we could take the on-going historical opportunity to launch our brand new project to awaken both innovators in SMEs and entrepreneurs to make a series of breakthrough for the future. For me as CEO of the institute, this is exactly based on what Emperor Jinmu felt at the very beginning of his legendary eastward conquer. Step by step, we’ll steadily attempt to expand this project to all the major local economies and societies in Japan to adapt her order to new surroundings. Stay tuned and don’s miss to join us.

 

Global Optimization and Japan’s Future.

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As you might know, our institute has been intensively doing marketing offensive rather in the Japanese domestic market than abroad. This is because a couple of years ahead is extremely important to enable Japan to be revitalized enough for accomplishing “Pax Japonica”. And to do so, our institute headed by myself urgently needs to know what local structures our country has in each regions. A series of business and research trips is therefore planned ahead.

In this regard, we’ve been preparing to launch courses of lectures for company executives and entrepreneurs in the following three regions: TOHOKU (in the city of SENDAI), SHIKOKU (in the city of MATSUYAMA) and KYUSHU (in the city of KITAKYUSHU/FUKUOKA). The first one in SENDAI is about to get started from April 27. My colleagues in charge are accelerating preparation works for the very first project.

Having done feasibility studies for these courses to revive local economies, it spontaneously occurred to me that it’s the same question that matters in every one of these Japanese local societies as follows:

-Thanks to “US-Japan alliance”, Japan was tolerated to massively do export offensive after the WWII. Big manufacturing corporates led this “economic” war vis-à-vis the western world and brought a huge amount of money from the international market successfully.

-For these big corporates, “global optimizing” was not necessary yet. Instead of that, “domestic optimizing” is what they had to think about. Each companies sought local economies in Japan where they could effectively settle down their own factories. The Japanese local economies began to flourish.

-However, in the course of time, Japan has been facing massive appreciation of JPY step by step since 1980s. The last counterattack she faced from other western advanced economies was caused from 2009 to 2012. The Japanese big manufacturers were forced to remove their production bases from Japan to abroad, because of “global optimization”.

-What has been then left in local economies are the following: Small (usually very innovative) manufacturers, infrastructure companies, local universities as research institute and laboratories, and administration authorities. Since all of them were closely connected particularly to big manufacturing companies, whose production bases began to vanish, local innovation ecosystems have been totally destroyed. While infrastructure companies do not need and want “innovations”, local innovative SMEs are trying to be globalized, but usually in vain. Local bureaucrats stand under political pressure not to worsen the situation, but they don’ t know “A to C” of how to do business. Local academicians really love to continue their research and experiments, which will never be monetized in lack of the above mentioned local innovative ecosystems.

Based on this and that, we Japanese urgently need to acknowledge it’s rethinking “global optimization” that really matters. As long as we won’t change framework in this regard, nothing won’t be changed in a positive manner. A solid national strategy for this purpose is also urgently needed, however, previous leadership in Japan never thinks about it. This is exactly why it’s essential for the Japanese to start their own style of “PERESTROIKA” as not slight “structural reform”, but total change of socio-economic framework per se.

From my viewpoint, future success of “Pax Japonica” tremendously depends on whether we’ll immediately change this old-fashioned framework. Our institute continues to work on it by involving a huge number of local and national stake holders one by one. Stay tuned.

The Time for Revenge Has Come: Dr. T. Tsunoda’s Theory on Japanese Language Brain

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Yesterday, I ‘ve got a parcel with a book and an article. Various authors sometimes kindly send me their own books to ask me to publish book reviews online. As usual, I slightly checked who’s written the book and was extremely delighted to find out who the author is: Dr. Tadanobu TSUNODA, one of Japanese once esteemed but almost publicly forgotten brain scientist I admire. His son, Dr. Koichi TSUNODA, who is also doctor, sent me the parcel, while he attached his article entitled “Near-infrared-spectroscopic study on processing of sounds in the brain; a comparison between native and non-native speakers of Japanese”. This article per se also astonished me extremely.

Why? Because Dr. Tadanobu TSUNODA’s theory on Japanese language brain, or “日本語脳”in Japanese, which was once well known in both Japan and the western world, but harshly criticized aftermath and is almost forgotten these days, is scientifically proved in the above shown article accepted by a peer-reviewed scientific journal in English. Two years ago, I happened to get to know the theory and tried to meet Dr. Tadanobu TSUNODA face to face. He kindly welcomed me at his home in Chiba Prefecture and explained me his theory thoroughly by given me an opportunity to experience his method in laboratory.

The theory’s key message is quite simple: The brain of Japanese people is unique because of Japanese language. Only when you grow up in circumstances until about the age of 14 where Japanese language is exclusively used, you can acquire this uniqueness. This uniqueness consists of the following two points: While left cerebral hemisphere understands almost every sound including languages, right cerebral hemisphere catches nearly nothing. According to Dr. Tadanobu TSUNODA’s conclusion, this is exactly why the ordinary Japanese tend to mix up reasoning and feeling and can’t argue objectively. In addition, this uniqueness leads only Japanese people with Japanese language skill to develop Japanese culture and society, where harmonization per se is prioritized.

Even though this theory had been supported by a series of prominent scholars in Japan, as Hideki YUKAWA, Nobel laureate, till 1980s, Dr. Tadanobu TSUNODA was harshly blamed for “complete fabrication” of this theory by populistic journalists in Japanese media after 1990s. One by one, his supporters dropped out and only his children, who successfully became otorhinolaryngologists were left. Particularly his son, Dr. Koichi TSUNODA sought opportunities to prove his father’s theory with modernized methodologies and to publish an article in an esteemed, peer-reviewed scientific journals in the western world. Finally, their vindictiveness for reaching truth has won.

To be honest, I begin to feel these days that this could happen in the very near future, because one of my masters living in HOKKAIDO told me the following story he heard from his own master “T”: Mr. “T”, who is the second order of seats after president, was recently invited to a luncheon meeting hosted by the president of M. I. T., which takes place quarterly. To the luncheon, not only prominent scholars of the institute but also world-class legend in economy such as Bill Gates are always invited. The topic they discussed at that time was astonishing for Mr. “T”, who had been very active in KEIDANREN, federation of Japanese big corporates till 1980s.

According to Mr. “T”, who was the only invitee from Japan, the participants enthusiastically discussed how to treat the 100 best and brightest young people in the States. All of them were born in 2000 and checked with their I.Q. and grew up in an environment where English is NOT spoken. Instead of that, they have been allowed to communicate only in an artificial language which is totally different from any other languages including English. The young people are now 16 years old and about to show up in the public. How to show them up was the key issue they discussed during the luncheon.

Well, can you see what I mean by saying that? The U. S. establishment already decided to abandon “English” and move to another, artificial language. Whenever you’ll want to be informed what the Best and Brightest in the States are thinking, you’ll have to understand this artificial language which is still unknown in the global community.

However, there must be a loophole for us to approach to this brand new language. There is already one specific language which is extremely isolated from any other languages: The Japanese language. Based on this simple fact, I suppose the best and brightest linguists in M. I. T. must have invented the above mentioned artificial language by duplicating Japanese partly. Because this has been one of the most important strategies USG has pursued, Dr. Tadanobu TSUNODA’s theory had to be almost forbidden in global academia, I suspect. The theory is troublesome for the US establishment, because it simply makes the people on the street become aware of the uniqueness of the Japanese language.

But the decisive sea change has come. The scientifically accepted article written by Dr. Koichi TSUNODA clearly shows the US leadership slowly begins to move to the next phase, which de facto implies “Pax Japonica”. Stay tuned.

Canopus and Layers of Innovative History in TOHOKU

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This week, I tried hard to get penetrated with my sales manager in the TOHOKU region, particularly in human network in the City of SENDAI. As my institute’s pilot project to hold a series of lectures for innovative company executives and entrepreneurs in this area, we did a lot to get connected to local business leaders who might be interested in it.

Since I was diplomat and a member of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I always face both pros and cons by doing such a local offensive in Japan. “Pros”, because I can always remain “neutral” and totally “independent” of any specific economic and political interest. As if I were a foreigner in Japan, I can make any decision only from my own viewpoint. However, “Cons”, because I always have huge difficulties to find out someone who is both locally influential and supportive to what our institute intends to do.

This is also the case for this time. From the very beginning of our endeavor to be settled down, we knew almost nobody there, and the majority we encountered didn’t show their willingness to collaborate with me. We were just “aliens” to them.

But, if you have a will, there must be a way to get reach your goal. Meanwhile, one of our local customers who’s successful in digital market, made enormous efforts and kindly introduced us to one of the leading innovators in local manufacturing sectors.

This time, I did two-days marketing offensive in SENDAI accompanied by this innovative leader, whom I’d like to call here “Canopus” in TOHOKU. Till 1990s, he led R&D and marketing projects in SONY, a legendary big venture company in Japan, which made the company’s factory located in TAGAJYO near SENDAI one of the leading places for world-class innovations at that time. Particularly in terms of electromagnetic recording medium.

I personally have the feeling that this “glorious” legend of SONY in TOHOKU is totally forgotten in the Japanese public. Since these electromagnetic techniques and their development seemed to be overridden by digitalization, even the company itself cut its capacity in this regard and fired a number of researchers and innovators without any return tickets. Thanks to detailed explanation and introduction of our “Canopus”, I found out the network of these former innovators with the spirit of glorious “SONY” is locally still alive and still tries hard to innovate the local economy.

The point is this endless endeavor originally has nothing to do with the odious “Great East Japan Earthquake” which took place in March, 2011. After the natural disaster, both the Japanese public and global community still love to regard the TOHOKU region as the place of tragedy, to which preferable measures should be taken forever. In TOKYO, nobody refers to the industrial legend that SONY and other Japanese leading manufactures did extremely innovative works there, especially in terms of electromagnetic and metallurgical engineering. From the ancient time, the TOHOKU region has been very famous for its tradition of splendid metallurgy. Without it, the Japanese manufacturers could never accomplish historical economic development from 1950s to 1980s.

Whenever we refer to restoration of the TOHOKU region after the Great Earthquake in 2011, we Japanese always look at only what the global community both strategically and economically offers. Nevertheless, the genuine restoration there can be accomplished, only if we successfully draw into attention what our own Japanese elder pioneers reached. Only by doing this, eternal innovations can lead the TOHOKU region to revival of its glorious industrial development. The spirit of innovations which our “Canopus” wants to tells us this time exactly reflects such a simple fact we once forgot in the midst of artificial “globalization”.

On Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y”.

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X and Y chromosomes

As CEO of my own think tank, I sometimes think of Douglas McGregor’s famous motivational theory. As long as you remain an employee, that is to say, “workforce which is hired by somebody else,” such a theory never occurs to you. However, once you begin to run your own company with your own money and hire someone else as your followership in office, you can’t help remember the theory.

Well, what’s Douglas McGregor’s motivational theory? Generally speaking, it’s regarding two fundamental and analytical principles, with which you can judge psychology of employees. Based on that, “Theory X” tells you every employee doesn’t want to work. He/she tries hard to get the same salary as it is by evading additional tasks. For them, it’s optimal to get paid without working in workplace. From the beginning, they always remain idle and can’t be never motivated.

“Theory Y” tells you another, totally different story: Employees are always motivated and want to make added values in workplace. Once you, as CEO, gives them tasks, they will accomplish much more than you expect. For them, “Work is life”, and as self-motivated workforce, they automatically find out what to do in office. You never get headaches with idleness of your employees.

In the age of digital economy, this “Theory Y” is flourishing and developing. For its promotors, the internet is the key to solve all the problems in office. Because the workforce is, according to “Theory Y”, self-motivated and full of energy for working, only what to do for you as CEO is to empower them and accept whatever they do. In addition to that, any hierarchical structures in office must be abolished, because they only hinder “good workers” from doing the right things. You, CEO of your own company, just have to declare yourself as servant of empowered employees.

Again, as long as you remain mere employee in workplace, you never understand why I’m so enthusiastically writing these sentences on D. McGregor’s motivational theory. Once you’ll be promoted to run your own company or build up it as entrepreneur, you’ll immediately grasp what I’m feeling and want to tell you. The reality in office never, never, never reflects the latter. The former is always the case. Don’t stick to such an optimistic illusion as “Theory Y”.

Now, you may wonder why this kind of “Theory Y” and its relatives are so widespread. They always proclaim not poor employees but company executive must be blamed, whenever something gets wrong in workplace. Beyond pseudo-logical authenticity of the theory, how come it makes us fall into a trap?

The answer is quite simple: Because the number of employees is much more bigger than of company leadership, all the clever publisher aim only at employees as readership. All the books on company executives can be well sold, when they are capable of appeasing frustrated and angry employees. It’s not reality but pseudo-democracy for workforce that matters.

If you’re about to build up your own company right now, don’t read any books on company leadership. Instead of that, cleave to your own destiny and motivation for start-up. Don’t listen to your followership’s voices which just bother you as CEO. Always get back to the reason why you set up your own company, whenever you’ll get troubled. It’s only YOU that can find loopholes to get rid of difficulties. Nobody else is placed in such a precious position. Go ahead.